California Academy Of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes VIP Tour - San Francisco

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Printed Voucher Required
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 1 Hr
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    Academy Hours of Operation:, , Monday to Saturday 9:30am-5pm  , Sunday 11am-5pm  , Last entry one hour before closing. Holiday hours subject to change, Academy Tour: Monday–Friday at 11 am and .. read more
  • Departure Details :
    55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


Explore the California Academy of Sciences like never beforetake a closer, more intimate look at our scientific collections, incredible green building,cutting-edge scientific research, and more!


  • Skip the line
  • Small group ensures personal service
  • Ideal choice for families

Know More about this tour

Enjoy exclusive access and see what's beyond the museum with a Behind-the-Scenes tour.

Academy Tour

Spend an hour behind the scenes learning more about the institutions 160-year history and what it takes to house nearly 46 million specimens. Visit the research collections, not on view to the public, and develop an appreciation for our vast library of life, which includesamazingspecimens from ourichthyology (fish), entomology (insects),and ornithology (birds)departments.From stepping out onto our living roof (weather permitting) to examining breathtaking geology specimens in our private vault, the Academy tour is sure to show you more of the museum than you ever knew existed.

Tours include:
  • General Admission
  • One-hour guided tour
  • Behind-the-scenes access
  • Express entry into the building
  • VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest
  • Reserved space in the Planetarium
  • 10% discount in Academy dining and shopping venues


One-hour guided tour

Behind-the-scenes access

Reserved space in the Planetarium

10% discount in Academy dining and shopping venues

Entry/Admission - California Academy of Sciences


Hotel pickup and drop-off


Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Guests must be age 8 or older to participate, and guests between the ages of 8 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Maximum of 14 people per tour

Morrison Planetarium shows take place throughout the day; you will receive a reserved ticket to the show of your choice

Wheelchair accessible; wheelchairs are available at Coat Check on a first-come, first-served basis

Traveler Reviews

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  • 22-Sep-2018

    Definitely worth the time and money to see the behind-the-scene collection!

  • 12-Mar-2018

    Word to the wise: book during work hours. Tell your boss you're sick or schedule some emergency dental work with a doctor who never keeps schedules, but going to the California Academy of Sciences for a Behind-the-Scenes Tour during work hours almost ensures that your tour group will be tiny, if not non-existent such as it was for me. Guided tours are awesome, but private guided tours are the best!

    My tour guide was Lee from Minnesota. Lee led me up to the living roof as in roof that has plants living on it, not roof with a couch and TV and tacky pictures of in-laws first and onto a part of the roof where no one else could go where she showed me the whale bones they were bleaching for preservation. Apparently, the California Academy of Sciences is part of a beached whale watch group and will travel for beached whales up and down 500 miles of California coastline. Everyone needs a hobby, yeah?

    From the roof, we went into the biology wing, where I let into both plant and mammal sample storage rooms. In 20 minutes' time, I saw and held samples from the original academy, saved by a scientist who ran into a burning building during the earthquake in 1906 and then walked through a hallway of ethanol-filled jars preserving mammals not for the squeamish.

    All throughout the tour, Lee peppered me with information not only about the science I was witness to, but also the history of the building and the practice of the academy. Technically not a museum, the research done at the academy disqualifies it from such a classification. Rather than just be interested in preservation, the scientists there ask where, when, how, and why about every what.

    To the person who watches a movie, play, or even magic trick and wonders, 'how,' this is the perfect tour. Five stars to Lee, five stars to the California Academy of Sciences, and five stars to the albino alligator who I'm pretty sure was named Frank.

  • 05-Jan-2018

    Our guide for the behind-the-scenes tour of the California Academy of Sciences was extraordinary and very passionate about her work and the research work being performed at the Academy.

  • 18-Nov-2017

    Lots of fun with kids

  • 29-Oct-2017

    Were somewhat disappointed in this tour, we had skip the line tickets which we had to present to the special desk at the left of the building which was un attended, we were told basically tough join the ordinary queue which was very long, we then approached a Manager who told us there was no such thing as Skip the Line, that was a Company name and did not mean we could skip the line. When we did eventually gain access our ticket included a trip to the Rainforest Exhibit which was closed, so we paid for two things we did not get!

  • 17-Oct-2017

    The aquarium tour was outstanding. We should have spent more than one day here!

  • 14-Sep-2017

    This is absolutely the way to go. Not only do you get a behind the scenes tour, but you also get to skip the line for several attractions inside as well as skipping the line to enter the facility. This is the only way to do the California Academy of Sciences!

  • 03-Sep-2017

    An excellent behind the scenes tour. I thoroughly recommend it, the place is awesome. I'll definitely go back next time I'm n the city

  • 12-Jul-2017

    Best tour ever got so much more from the behind the scenes aspect. So much more information, insight, and fun for the whole family.

  • 08-Jul-2017

    I cannot say enough good things about the tour because it did allow us to enter places that most people weren't allowed to and we were shown things that were not commonly seen in public. It was interesting, informative, fun, and exciting. The pass for the tour also allowed us to get 10 off most everything in the museum including photos, food, and merchandise. Best yet, it allowed us to skip the line for the Rainforest and shows at the Planetarium. It was definitely worth the cost.
    The Academy itself is a lot of fun for both grown-ups and kids. The aquarium at the bottom level is most enchanting, and the butterfly garden in the Rainforest is mesmerizing. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to take a break doing the usual touristy stuff in San Francisco.

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